By Brianna Williams, News Editor

On Nov. 21, UTC’s freshman senate hosted a Thanksgiving event to help give back to families in need.

The “Turkey Train” event was held on Cardiac Hill where members of freshman senate and other student participants lined up to pass turkeys up to an awaiting vehicle.

The turkeys that these students passed were bought by freshman senate with money gained from a week of tabeling and collecting donations in the University Center.

Freshman senate was able to purchase 21 turkeys with the donations they received.

The Turkey Train event was in partnership with local Pneuma Church, which distributed the turkeys to families in need at a Thanksgiving “Hope Harvest” event held in UTC’s Maclellan gym.

Previously, Hope Harvest was held in four different recreational facilities before being consolidated into one location at UTC, Executive Pastor for Penuma Church Ivan Brown said.

Hope Harvest is a city-wide charity event in which families can come to get a turkey donated by freshman senate, warm clothing, health screenings and visit the vendors set up.

The event, while put on by freshman senate as a group, was spearheaded by the senate’s Campus and Community Engagement Chair Lilah Afflerbaugh.

“Thanksgiving is a time to spend with families, and sometimes a turkey isn’t the biggest priority on the bills list, so it helps families that can’t have Thanksgiving be able to experience it,” Afflerbaugh said. 

According to Afflerbaugh, freshman senate has made the turkey train a yearly event, so there are plans to continue the efforts next year.

“We represent the freshman class, and I think that it’s really important with the position that we have for us to give back, especially to our community,” freshman senate member Daryn Engstrom said.

According to Brown, the turkeys provided by freshman senate are meaningful for the harvest event that the church holds yearly.

“What we’re really gonna do with these turkeys is we’re gonna encourage every family to sit down, have a Thanksgiving meal, and to talk as a family about the vision and direction of where their family is going,” Brown said. 

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